The End of the Line did the first exclusive interview on the reported capture of a chupacabra on our program which aired Wednesday, 3-5-97. The information about the reported capture originally came in via an email from someone who saw the story on Spanish Language television. I immediately tried to track down the story and after a number of phone calls to the local Spanish Network tv station was eventually directed to the network corporate headquarters in Florida.
Following a considerable amount of checking, I learned that the story originated in the San Antonio, Texas area. After several more calls, I was finally able to speak to the reporter-producer who did the story and had interviewed the immigrant Mexican rancher who allegedly captured the creature with a coyote trap on his ranch near San Antonio. I immediately invited the reporter, Antonio Guillen, to appear on the End of the Line, coincidentally, the same night Michael Lindemann does his regular weekly UFO/ET update. I advised Michael that another guest would be on and I invited him to participate in the questioning.
I was able to also procure a story from a Spanish language newspaper that described the tv news story done by Antonio on the incident.
The following is a transcription of most of the interview with Antonio Guillen the reporter-producer-news anchor of the Spanish language television station which broke the story. Because of the slight colloquial language differences, some of the syntax has been smoothed out but the interview remains accurate in all its facts and data. The name of the University remains confidential until this story can be further verified.
JR: How are you, Antonio?
AG: Just fine, Jeff, thank you.
JR: Tell us how this story first began for you.
AG: Everything started when we received a phone call from a rancher south of San Antonio. When I went to talk to the man, he showed me a couple of pictures. I could see they were original pictures, they were not fakes. What we saw was an animal, a very, very strange animal. It was killed, it actually wasn’t killed, it was caught in a trap by this rancher because he had been helpless to stop whatever had been killing his livestock.
JR: What kind of animals were being killed?
AG: He had goats, chickens, and even a donkey had been attacked by something.
JR: Was the donkey killed?
AG: No. As a matter of fact, no. Probably because it was a bigger animal than chickens and goats. He told me that the donkey had a wound in the neck area.
JR: Alright, so he set a trap for it then. What kind of a trap did he set?
AG: He told me he set up a coyote trap. That was his final effort to get whatever was killing his livestock.
JR: This is a “clamp” trap? It snaps shut?
AG: Exactly. Just like the ones used by hunters probably. And what happened is that one night he woke up to a lot of noise in the corral area. He got up and went out to the corral and turned on the lights of his pick-up truck. And what he saw laying on the ground trapped in the trap was this animal. According to him, as soon as the animal saw him the animal tried to attack him but it was held by the trap and the chain. The rancher said he was really scared because this was something he had never seen before…even though he is a rancher. Then he says that, in the distance, he saw another two of the same animals…kind of running away from there. The thing in the trap was two feet long but the things he saw in the distance were about 4 feet long. They were a lot larger.
JR: Did they also appear to be the same kind of animal?
AG: Exactly. It was the same thing but larger.
JR: Were these animals running on the ground or were they standing upright?
AG: According to what he said, these other animals were not running. They were taking leaps….jumping…anywhere from 10-15 feet. They were not running, they were jumping or something like that.
JR: So, they were making big leaps of 10-15 feet.
JR: The picture that you were kind enough to share with me is very unusual, to say the least. It looks rather like a large, a very large lizard. It has, apparently, front legs, back legs, and a tail, and a long lizard-like body. The head looks very large, disproportionately large for the body. It looks almost like a pit bull’s head looks large for a dog. It’s a large head. On the back of the animal, coming up from the spine, I count 13, at least, long vertical spikes that stick up, my guess would be at least 12 inches off the back of this animal. They’re large. The animal has a tongue, or something like a tongue, hanging out of its mouth. It’s round, it comes to a point, and it appears to be hanging out of its mouth about 5 to 6 inches. Is that about right?
AG: Exactly. What’s unusual about what you just mentioned is the tongue…a spike-like thing that is coming out of its mouth. You know we had several incidents here in San Antonio, on ranches around the area, and none of those animals had been killed. In other words, all animals presented just a puncture, a hole-like wound, in the neck most of the time. But they were not killed like a wild dog or a coyote would do.
JR: So, they weren’t dead, they were just drained of some of their blood?
AG: Exactly. I showed the picture you saw (of the trapped creature) to a veterinarian and he says that this is something very unusual; that he’s never seen anything like this before. It looks like some type of reptile or something like that, but nothing, nothing familiar to the native animal population of the San Antonio area or, for that matter, South Texas.
JR: Let me bring in Michael Lindemann now, who has been listening to this very carefully. Go ahead, Micheal.
ML: Yes, Antonio, hello. A couple of questions…what happened to the body?
AG: OK. What this gentleman (the rancher) told me, and let me clarify something: this happened last November. These are just regular kinds of guys; very shy, very publicity shy and timid, so they didn’t want to notify anybody, no authorities or media, of what happened. So, this guy knows or knew somebody that used to work, or was working with, (a major Texas University). So, it looks like they took the animal (there). I talked to the owner of the animal (the rancher) this morning and he assured me that this guy came back to him (from the University) and told him that according to what they had studied they couldn’t decide what it was and probably they would be returning the animal back to him in a few days or something like that. So, in this regard, I am just waiting and I’m hoping that the will return this animal back (to the rancher) and we can go in and take a closer look at it.
ML: So, when did you first hear about this?
AG: I just heard about this 2 weeks ago (approximately
ML: Did he (the rancher) call you?
AG: As a matter of fact it was a friend of his who originally called me because the rancher didn’t want to do anything with the media. He is not looking for publicity so, actually, his friend called me and said, ³ My friend caught something very strange and I’ve got pictures to prove it.² So, I made arrangements and I went there and saw the pictures and I interviewed the man who took the pictures after the animal was already dead. From then on, I developed the story as to how the incident came about. This was second-hand information but the man was there when the animal was dead and he was the one who took the pictures.
JR: As far as we know now, the animal was taken by an acquaintance of the rancher to (a major university) and it is supposed to be returned to the rancher.
AG: Yes, it is supposed to be returned.
ML: So, you are hoping to see this body yourself?
AG: That’s what I’m hoping…
ML: I hoping, too. This is a big story.
JR: Do you know if they did any DNA testing at (the major university).
AG: That I don’t know for sure, Jeff, but I would imagine they did. It is one of the premier universities in the state and I pretty much imagine that they would run every single test available. What my problem is right now, my biggest obstacle is the reluctance of the rancher to talk about the issue. This morning I was trying to get more information out of the rancher and he knows we are doing a news story on this incident and so far, he has been reluctant to reveal the names of these people (at the university). I’m working on this and I will be in contact with him again tomorrow probably. Another interesting thing he told me is that he followed the footprints of the other two larger animals he saw and these footprints led him to a hole….a hole in the ground.
ML: A couple of questions. This rancher lost a couple of animals before he set the trap. Has he lost any animals since then?
AG: No, he told me no, all the activity stopped right away.
AG: Yes. I covered those events also. And the similarities everywhere are the same. We had, right here a couple of miles away from San Antonio, at least three or four incidents and every single time the results were the same. Most of these animals were killed. Some of them were still alive but the ranchers said that probably from the loss of blood they were going to die anyway. Some of them were just standing there really, really weak. But most of the animals were dead.
JR: I see. The assumption to make, if we are able to make any assumptions at all, is that the smaller creature (caught and killed in the trap) may have been the offspring of the two larger animals possibly out with its parents learning to hunt and so forth. What actually killed this animal? Was it the trap or did the rancher shoot it or something like that?
AG: I think that probably what happened is that it died because of the loss of blood and vital fluid because the trap was large, it was big compared to the size of this animal. According to the rancher, the animal was still alive at least three days after it was trapped.
JR: This is a very important story and I certainly hope that the creature’s body is returned to the rancher and gets a proper and elaborate scientific evaluation. Michael, go ahead, do you have any more questions?
ML: Antonio, I was wondering if the rancher that you’ve talked to was aware of the chupacabra idea before he captured this animal? Was he aware of other things other people have said about chupacabra?
AG: Probably he was because of the fact that our station covers most of the South Texas area and when other incidents were occurring our signal covers the area in which he lives. I don’t know it for a fact, however.
ML: I’m just wondering if when he first called you, or when his friend called you, did he tell you he had captured a chupacabra? What did he call the animal?
AG: No. He didn’t say that. And that has been one of the reasons why we are looking in this because he is afraid of the idea of other people branding him as a crazy guy or something like that. So, his friend who took the pictures called me to let me know that they had trapped a very, very strange animal that was killing livestock.
ML: So, they called it a strange animal.
ML: Very good. Have you, yourself, talked to any other eyewitnesses in the South Texas area who described a similar creature?
AG: Not here in San Antonio but last year when I went to my home town area which is in the state of Sinaloa on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Over there, there was a lot of activity going on. As a matter of fact, police and army people were searching in little ranches and caves and all that because the killing activity, or whatever it was, was pretty big. A lot of ranchers were losing livestock. So, over there I had the chance to talk to some police officers who told me that they even started shooting at a thing that landed on their windshield during their patrol one night! So, what they described over there in the press was something similar. Similar in this way: similar in the feet and the spikes they have on the back. These reports came from other eyewitnesses way, way down in Mexico.
JR: Interesting. But this one (trapped by the rancher) is apparently not an upright creature, the picture I’m looking at appears to be of something that walks on all fours like a lizard.
ML: Except that it moves by jumping, right?
AG: Exactly. Probably, that’s why I think that some people, some eyewitnesses, have said that this thing flies. Probably in their confusion they are mistaking a big jump for flying characteristics.
JR: Yes. Does the rancher have any idea of how important this story is?
AG: No, I don’t think so. (laughs) I really don’t think so, otherwise, he would be more cooperative with me in this case.
ML: He may not be aware, for example, that there has been an international uproar over these reports for a couple of years now. We understand that he doesn’t want his entire life disrupted; that he doesn’t want his entire ranch trampled by people who are suddenly looking for. Have you thought of going down and kind of cluing him in about what a big deal this is?
AG: Well, two things can happen: the first is that he will become even more scared, afraid, or something like that. Or, he may finally decide to let us know exactly what it was that happened that night and then, in his own words, relate to us the whole incident. I talked to him this morning on the phone and he’s still kind of reluctant. I told him I just want to spend a few minutes with him…I just have a few questions to ask him.
JR: You really have your work cut out for you to gain his confidence and to convince him that his security will be protected.
AG: Exactly, exactly. That’s what we as reporters have to do. I have promised him that we won’t reveal his identity if he doesn’t want it. And I won’t do it, that’s for sure. We journalists, the only thing we have is our word with witnesses.
ML: Antonio, you have probably seen many strange stories, you’re an experienced newsman. Bottom line: Do you think this guy is telling the truth?
AG: I’ll tell you why I think this whole thing is real: he never, on his own, called us to let us know about it. He even let these people take this creature away from him (to the University). He doesn’t have it right now with him. And it’s the pictures, the pictures themselves….the pictures that I saw. I am an aficionado photographer myself and when I looked at the pictures, it was amazing. There is no other way to define it: it was a dead animal, it’s a very strange animal but nevertheless, it is a real picture.
JR: Antonio, thank you very much. I will be checking back with you next week to see what else has developed through your efforts. Thank you.